Monday, April 02, 2007

Words To Live By

The Internet is a dangerous thing -- for me. And by dangerous, I mean that it is not only a wealth of useful information that will aid and abet my cutting-edge research on midrashic theory, but also a useful source of distractions, most of which are of little use. Tonight, as I struggled to finish a review of a new book on Philip Roth's later fiction, I was lured in by the promise of the Internet to educate and entertain. And before I knew it, I found myself roped into one of my favorite procrastinating pastimes: looking at online dating profiles. Really, if you've never tried it, you must do so soon. It is endlessly entertaining.

I'm fascinated with the way people go about constructing their online identities. But cultural studies aside, what typically keeps me entertained are the odd things people say. And so tonight I have begun a list, at the urging of my roommate, of all of my favorite lame things that people say. Here are three of my favorite from this evening's late-night romp in internet dating cyberspace, as well as my pithy commentaries. Oh, and tonight's words of wisdom all hail from the often-not-kosher-enough world of JDate.

1.) "I am looking for someone who is similar to or different from me."

Now here's a guy who knows what he wants and goes after it. He also sounds like a careful, critical thinker, someone who is not willing to date just anybody. He's very selective.

2.) "I like to concentrate on things I'm focused on."

Now, this is not a man I could date. We would never get along because I only concentrate on things that I don't focus on. The question to which this guy was responding, of course, was "what are your interests?" I wonder what he is focused on . . . I mean, is it Kant? Biomechanical engineering? The upcoming elections? Or is it nothing more than what he will have for dinner tonight? Oh, and this guy is, allegedly, a surgeon.

3.) "I am compatible with those I get along with."

Here, the potential dater was supposed to answer the question of what type of person he is most compatible with. And there you have it. All you need to know about dater #3.

More to come . . .


Michael Nehora said...

My list of lamest dating profile statements includes:

1) "I love to laugh." Well, that certainly sets you apart. After all, everyone else loves to cry, right?

2) "I'm as comfortable in a pair of jeans as I am in an {evening gown/tuxedo}." Formal wear is just as comfortable as schleppy wear? Dahling, you simply must give me the name of your tailor.

3) "I can't believe I'm actually doing this; my {friends/mother} had to talk me into it." Gee, thank you so much for lowering your standards so you can meet such inferior people like me.

4) "My family is very important to me." Good thing you told me; I'm looking for someone more like Lizzie Borden.

The fact is, I haven't used online dating services in years. The online dating industry is like the weight-loss industry. It counts on repeat business and gets it. Few dating site users actually get anything for their money, unless they're very lucky or are using it to hook up for casual sex. Eventually many people like me find that it's much more productive to meet people by going to shul, volunteering, taking classes, and such. One finds a healthier mix of people this way, both for dating and friendship purposes.

And on a closing note, judging from what I've read of, and by, you so far, both here and on Jewcy, I wish I lived closer to Lafayette than I do. Toronto is 443 miles away...oh well. ;-)

DSW said...

This is a phenomenon I just completely whiffed on. B. and I have been together for so long I've just never had a use for internet dating so I know next to nothing about the subject. But its always such an annoyance to describe yourself in almost any situation, it appears as though people rush through them or opt for tired cliches.

That said I have 3 friends who met their current significant others via online dating and all have seemingly worked out quite well. In fact because of their successes I'm considering signing my Mom up for one of them.

Anonymous said...

It is better than Lacan's mirror because you control the distortion!

Unless, as you have indicated, the distortion controls you...

Beck sings: "But the static in your mind, leaves you hollow and unkind."

'Static' makes me think of 'distortion' and other 'saturated phenomenon'--like the self drowning in its image.

A friend once said: We are all sovereign...

Ha ha, that stupid asshole...

Monica said...


Haha . . . those are great lines too! Especially the third one -- people feel like they have to say that they can't believe they're doing the online dating thing, not realizing how lame they sound. You're right, though -- I think the best way to meet people is through other means, though I do have a friend or two who have been successful with online dating services. But that's rare, I think. But online dating sites are great if you just feel like laughing (at others' expense . . . how terrible I am!). Oh, and yes, a shame Toronto is so far!

Paige S said...

For those of us who are new to online dating, any advice? For the physical description, I have "volumptous, in a minimalist sort of way." because it sounded better than "scrawny with an unproportional bum." Any of those tried and true phrases a newby like myself should know about?